Aim for the Heart (Savvy Listing Photos, Part 1)

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Four Columns Realty

Deck Overlooking Mountain Lake

Photos Are Not Data

Do you think of your listing photos as just another form of data? If you do, you're missing the picture. A key purpose of photos in your listing is to get potential buyers excited.


Photos are the #1 web site feature that buyers find most useful, according to a recent NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Good photos help sell a house. Boring photos drive potential buyers away.


How to Excite Your Prospects


When you go out to take photos for your listing, bring your imagination. You don't need to show every nook and cranny of a house. You do need to get your prospects to respond emotionally to your photos and want to get inside.


Go back to your listing on a nice day. Sunlight on a house with blue sky above makes an inviting picture. When flowers, blooming shrubs or fall foliage are in season, make sure you catch them in the sunshine. 


If your listing has an appealing view, do you merely photograph the view? Instead, try shooting photos of the deck, porch or patio, using the view as a backdrop. Help your potential buyers put themselves in the picture.


When you choose which photos to post, try grading them for emotional impact from 1 (low) to 5 (high). Then throw out your 1's, go easy on your 2's and 3's and prominently post your 4's and 5's.


Time Well Spent


Over the term of a listing, you will spend hours conducting showings. Yet for every prospect who comes to a showing, hundreds of prospects are viewing your listing on the internet. Spend some time coming up with high-impact photos that reach out to these prospects.


Use your photos to get your potential buyers excited. Aim for the heart.


©2009 Les Black

Comments (5)

Bruce Walter
Keller Williams Realty Lafayette/West Lafayette, Indiana - West Lafayette, IN

Great tips Les-thanks for the "heartfelt" post. 


Sep 05, 2009 03:56 AM
Peter - Toronto Real Estate Photo & Video
StoneHome Photo & Video - Toronto, ON

Thanks Les for the great article. People need to wake up and start realizing that if they are going to be taken seriously as realtors then they need to get their marketing in order, and that means good presentation through photos and videos. 

Sep 10, 2009 04:33 AM
Joel Weihe
Realty World Alliance - Wichita, KS
Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits

I know I'm not a professional photographer, but I get so sick of people who treat the photos as though they're a total afterthought.  I feel so bad for sellers stuck with mls photos, if there are any or more than one, that are drab, dark, out of focus, show a corner and that's it, and the myriad other real estate photo sins.  It's disgusting.

Sep 21, 2009 03:26 PM
Sandra Scott
DPR Realty - Payson, AZ
REALTOR of Choice! Payson, Pine & Strawberry, AZ

Your ideas are so fresh.  Thanks for taking the time to post them. 

Sep 23, 2009 04:50 PM
Phil Hillerman
Crye-Leike Realtors® - Rogers, AR
Crye-Leike Realtors®

Hi Les, I hope you are still taking great pictures.  So what do you think about the wide angle craze going on today?

Jun 12, 2012 01:55 AM